On March 22, 2020, the Wisconsin Supreme Court temporarily suspended in-person proceedings. Now, a year and a half later, it has become clear that Zoom proceedings are likely here to stay in at least some sort of capacity. When you are not actually in the courtroom itself, it can be easy to forget that all of the same formalities still apply. Here are a few tips for client’s regarding Zoom etiquette:
- Practice, practice, practice! If you are unfamiliar with Zoom and have no experience with a Zoom hearing, let us know. We will be happy to go through a test run with you to make sure everything goes smoothly and your application works.
- Make sure you have easy access to the Zoom meeting ID and password before the date of the proceeding. Every Notice of Hearing that is associated with your case will have this information. If you are unsure, please call and we can provide you with that information.
- Immediately upon entering the Zoom, turn on your video and mute your microphone. This can be done in the lower left-hand corner of the application on your phone or computer.
- Do not unmute your microphone unless you are giving testimony, or the judge or your attorney addresses you directly.
- Try to conduct the Zoom somewhere private, ideally with a blank wall as the background. Nobody else should be in the room listening or participating without approval of the court.
- Avoid being a distraction during the Zoom—do not eat, drink, or interact with children, pets, or third parties during the proceeding. Also, try your best to remain stationary. Do not move throughout your home or constantly move your camera, especially if you are using your phone. If you are using your phone, find an object to lean your phone against so you are clearly in view and don’t have to hold onto the phone throughout the entire proceeding.
- When speaking, look directly at whatever device you are using and speak clearly. If you are looking off to the side or are far from your device when speaking, it can be very difficult to hear.
- Dress the same way you would have dressed if the proceeding were in person. Just because you may be conducting the proceeding for your home, this is not an excuse to treat it any less professionally.
- A good rule of thumb: conduct yourself as if the judge can see and hear everything you are doing, even if you are on mute.
Whether we like it or not, Zoom proceedings are likely here to stay. Although they feel a lot less formal than a courtroom, we want to make sure you are still presenting yourself to the Court as professionally as possible.
If you are a current client that has questions regarding Zoom, feel free to give us a call at (608) 709-5000.